During a recent meeting, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) expressed its concerns about the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project. They highlighted the potential risk of Pakistan facing a substantial penalty of $18 billion if the project is not pursued. PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan specifically suggested that if the United States disapproves of Pakistan and Iran moving forward with the project, the U.S. should bear the penalty.
The chairman further emphasized the need for the U.S. to eliminate double standards by being lenient with India’s energy needs while punishing Pakistan for pursuing a similar project.
The PAC’s concerns arose after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) responded to queries raised during a previous PAC meeting held on March 1. In a letter, the MoFA informed the PAC that a meeting with the U.S. ambassador would be arranged upon his return from Washington.
The ministry stressed the significance of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project in the changing regional situation and mentioned that it has been exploring various options, including engaging with relevant parties such as Iran and the U.S.
The letter also disclosed that a technical team from the petroleum division visited Tehran in January to discuss the project’s progress. Additionally, inter-ministerial meetings involving all stakeholders, convened by the Prime Minister’s Office, have agreed upon an action plan for the pipeline project. On the topic of purchasing petroleum products from Russia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the signing of an agreement with Moscow to acquire a test cargo of crude oil, which is expected to arrive in Pakistan soon.
The ministry assured that Pakistan remains committed to the Pak Stream Pipeline project and that negotiations are ongoing to address any outstanding issues between the two sides.